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Thread: Ride Runner Plugins [Standardization, Using, Writing and Updating them]

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    Exclamation Ride Runner Plugins [Standardization, Using, Writing and Updating them]

    UPDATED 07-07-11

    There were multiple stickies created over the course of time while the standardization was taking place, and ideas being discussed. This has all been implemented now. I have put all information into this one sticky. This helps clean up the forums, and puts all the information in one place.

    There is example source code in the "C:\Program Files\RideRunner\RRExtension Plugin Examples". There are examples for VB6, .net and C# to get you started on creating a plugin for RideRunner.

    Ride Runner now will automatically load any plugins that are located in the "../Ride Runner/Plugins/" folder. This means that you no longer need the X,PluginName in your menu skins, or in an include file. So to use a plugin, simply copy the files into the Plugins folder, and ensure that the Dll(s) are registered. This also means that you do not have to set up individual skins to use plugins, as they are all loaded and available to any skin when RR starts.

    When creating a plugin, the following guidelines need to be followed:


    1. No plugin should use hard coded paths IN ANY WAY! to where it is located (For reading and writing to custom .ini's for instance) Many paths are available as variables that you can use in your plugins (PLUGINSPATH, RRPATH, SKINPATH) Say your plugin has a settings file named "MyPlugin.ini" to access the path, it's DYNAMIC path would be $RRPLUGINS$MyPlugin\MyPlugin.ini for reading and writing to it from your plugin.
    2. A set of example skin files needs to be provided, preferably in either BMV2 or Carwings in the release thread (bmv2 PSD's are available in MP3car downloads section, Carwings PSD's are available in the Carwings thread)
    3. Plugins should be put together as an installer.exe. This will copy the files to the correct locations, as well as register the .dll's automatically for the end user. The installer also needs to be aware of UAC rules. (Not saving to "Program Files" but rather "My Documents" folder.
    4. All plugin labels, buttons, sliders and indicators should be prefixed with the plugin name (to avoid conflicting with other plugins EA: MyPluginLabel1)
    5. A text file containing a list of button, labels, indicator a slider codes should be included in the zip file (call it skincommands.txt)
    6. An indicator is not needed in your plugin for the plugin itself to be able to tell if it is loaded or not, that is handled by RideRunner now when the plugins load.


    (This section was written by Mitch)

    CHANGES TO EXISTING PLUGINS WILL NEED TO BE MADE

    GUINO has fixed the Indicator code for plugins, to do that a change had to be made in the main code to allow a non processed Indicator...

    The solution was adding of the ReturnIndicatorEx which depreciates ReturnIndicator

    change your code to the default return of "" instead of "False" in all of your plugins.


    Example:

    Code:
    Public Function ReturnIndicator(IND As String) As String
    
        'Default (No Action)
        'ONLY return "True" or "False" IF AND ONLY IF you process that code
        'else return ""
        ReturnIndicator = ""
    
        Select Case LCase(IND)
            Case "myindicator"
                ReturnIndicatorEx  = "True"
        End Select
    
    End Function
    also... TO MOVE FORWARD change ReturnIndicator to ReturnIndicatorEx

    ReturnIndicatorEx:

    Code:
    '*****************************************************************
    '* This Function will be called with requested indicator code
    '* specified at the skin file. Simply return "True" or "False" to
    '* displayed the respective ON or OFF layer of the skin images.
    '* alternatively you can specify a path to a file to be displayed
    '* as the indicator specified. Return "False" to erase the image.
    '* ONLY return something else IF AND ONLY IF you process that code
    '*****************************************************************
    Public Function ReturnIndicatorEx(IND As String) As String
    
        'Default (No Action)
        ' DO NOT RETURN "False" for unprocess indicators, return ""
        ReturnIndicatorEx = ""
    
        Select Case LCase(IND)
            Case "myindicator"
                'This example show ON for even seconds and OFF otherwise
                ReturnIndicatorEx = IIf(Val(Format(Time, "SS")) Mod 2 = 0, "C:\VBStuff\Road Runner\XMArt\1.gif", "False")
            
            'Specify whatever and whichever indicators you wish to create
            'You can add as many as you'd like, and you can process complex indicators as long
            'as you parse them yourself (i.e. "mycomplexindicator;parameter")
            
            'Case "myindicator2"
                'Insert Code here to return "True", "False" or Path name
    
        End Select
    
    End Function
    .
    Last edited by JohnWPB; 07-07-2011 at 01:41 PM.
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    actually this is good, for the most part, #3 isnt good

    all plugins should have an installer...
    no user should have to do regasm or regsvr, or even run a batch file
    specially with UAC in play
    (installer should know about UAC)

    if someone needs a head start on a installer, i have done a generic INNO script, that is easy to follow and learn
    a few people already using it

    #6 isnt nessassary... plugin manager has this information

    ( i know the post is old, we should revisit it)
    -Thanks
    Mitch
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    load any plugins that are located in the "../Ride Runner/Plugins/" folder. This means that you no longer need the X,PluginName in your menu skins, or in an include file. So to use a plugin, simply copy the files into the Plugins folder, and register the Dll's.
    Can someone help with this? I'm using Carwings_Dynamic_Lite (came with the download I installed a few days ago)

    I've been trying to install plugins from Carwing_Dynamics_Lite_Add_Ons to no avail.

    I dropped the plugins in the /ride runner/plugins folder and I can seems to see any of them when i open up RR? Perhaps I need to register the dll? If so, how do I do that? I have searched and found nothing. The last thing I found was an installer but that link was broken when I went to download it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchjs View Post
    actually this is good, for the most part, #3 isnt good

    all plugins should have an installer...
    no user should have to do regasm or regsvr, or even run a batch file
    specially with UAC in play
    (installer should know about UAC)

    if someone needs a head start on a installer, i have done a generic INNO script, that is easy to follow and learn
    a few people already using it

    #6 isnt nessassary... plugin manager has this information

    ( i know the post is old, we should revisit it)

    I agree that this sticky needs to be updated. I'll take it one further though. Anyone who creates a plugin which needs an installer i will personally help create that installer for them, either by teaching or just by doing it for em lol. Course, i learned how to do it from you mitch, but i figure i can share the wealth. If we can get all of the plugins in app mart to have an installer i can finally release my RRAppMartConnect plugin which allows plugins to be viewed/downloaded/installed on the fly.
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    Ok, post#1 has been updated with most of the needed changes and updates. If anything is missing, or incorrect, let me or any mod know, and they can update it.
    Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

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